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Can someone explain Tripod Terms?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Mawkguc, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Mawkguc

    Mawkguc New Member

  2. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

  3. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Pan lock should, I guess, set the head so it only rotates left or right to prevent vertical movement whilst panning.....might be useful for panoramic shots.

    Friction control should let you set it for the weight of your camera/lens combo.....just enough to stop movement but still easy to move when you move the camera.

    The multi angle centre column might be handy for getting into awkward places with a macro lens, although can make things a little unstable.

    Looks like a perfectly decent tripod to me....enjoy:)
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Panning means rotating. Most tripod heads rotate and have a knob to lock this. If they didn't then you'd have to turn the whole tripod to make the camera point the right way.

    Friction control is pretty meaningless. You should be able to fine tune the position of the camera before locking it in place. Some heads are a bit "all or nothing" so either they are jammed tight or so floppy that you need three hands. The only way to tell if a head is useable is to try it but broadly speaking control scales with price.

    Multi-angle central column is marketing speak. A standard tripod column just goes up and down. Recently there have been models that allow the column to be mounted horizontally so I guess this means you can tilt it in that position. You have to be careful it doesn't fall over if the weight is not central.

    It is a good idea to try before you buy if you can. Tripods are supposed to provide a solid, vibration free platform for the camera. The lighter they are the harder this is to achieve.
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Pan lock, independently locks the pan rotation of the head.
    Friction control is a separate knob that adjusts the friction of the ball head but does not lock it. it allows easier fine adjustment.
    Multi angle centre column, allows the centre column to be set at any angle between straight up and horizontal.
    All these features are useful, but rarely essential.
    The first two are features of a head not a tripod.
  6. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    I've not followed the link but the pan lock function is a separate rotation available on some ball heads. Ball heads without this allow vertical movement whenever the ball is unlocked even if just sideways panning is wanted.

    Friction control is another feature that shows it to be a ball head. With this you can loosen the head so it's very floppy a easily moved & progressively tighten it. Normally you would want to have it adjusted so you can move the camera reasonably freely for adjustment but not completely loose then tighten it fully when the camera is lined up. I would expect this friction control is a separate control from the normal lock down control. One of my ball heads is like this, and it is a useful feature especially if using longer lenses.

    The central column on most tripods is just able to go up & down (and is usually best left down to minimize vibration) A few models have columns that can be flipped horizontally, which can be a useful function for macro but needs care over stability (perhaps a counter weight)
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It's a 60 quid tripod + head combined. The link shows a basic ball head.

    Good point on the column. I unscrewed the main column on mine, no point to carry it around as raising it adds to vibration.

    I don't know how the "flipping" columns compare for stability with the Benbo/uniloc style tripods but I suspect the latter are more substantial beasts.
  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Don't buy a tripod if you don't understand the maker's description - go to a decent photographic shop and see what is available within your budget, and spend a little time playing with it. And don't then buy it online to save a few quid, because the shop may have helped you avoid buying something unsuitable that will be a waste of your money.

    The latest AP dated the 22nd of June (my subscription issue arrived on Saturday) has a feature about tripods and tripod heads. £65 looks too good to be true for a decent tripod with a 'ball' head, unless it's an old model being sold off at a genuinely reduced price. The cheapest tripod with a 'ball' head that the AP article recommends is £80, and even then they suggest it is best for 'smaller DSLR or mirrorless cameras'. What kind of camera body and lenses will you want it to support? Also, a tripod with carbon fibre legs will weigh less than one with aluminium alloy ones, but will cost more.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I just read AP and have the same suggestion. It will be in the shops on Tuesday. It is indeed a "feature" and although it makes purchase suggestions it isn't a comparative review.
  10. Mawkguc

    Mawkguc New Member

    Thanks All i will look out for AP. :)

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